A bus accident can be a terrifying experience that causes severe damage. The massive size and weight of buses inherently increase the potential harm and damages to individuals involved compared to a typical automobile accident.

If you or a loved one suffered an injury due to the negligence of a bus driver or company, you might want to consult with an experienced personal injury attorney about your legal option. A Dolton bus accident lawyer could help you seek justice for your injuries and potentially recover compensation from the responsible party.

Insurance Laws Applicable to Dolton Cases

The State of Illinois is considered a “fault” state, which means that motorists are financially responsible for any damages they negligently cause. This means that bus drivers could be held personally liable if their negligence directly leads to any injuries or damages.

Injured persons have three options to seek compensation from the responsible party. These include:

  • Filing a claim with their insurance provider
  • Filing a complaint with the allegedly liable party’s insurance provider
  • Bringing a claim directly against the allegedly liable bus driver or company

A skilled lawyer in Dolton could provide injured individuals with further information about their legal options and help them determine which may best suit their case.

Understanding Negligence in a Bus Accident Claim

Many personal injury cases, including those involving bus accidents, are brought under the legal theory of negligence. In order to successfully win a negligence claim, the plaintiff must specifically prove the following elements of legal negligence:

  • Duty – the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care
  • Breach of duty – the defendant failed to uphold their duty of care
  • Causation – the breach proximately caused an accident
  • Damages – the plaintiff suffered compensable damages as a result of the aforementioned accident

Determining Liability and Damages

A driver may not be the only liable party in a bus accident claim. Other potentially liable parties could include other motorists, the entity responsible for maintaining safe roadways, and the parent company that owned or operated the bus in question.

Vicarious liability, or respondeat superior, is the legal theory that places financial liability for an employee’s actions on the employer. To determine vicarious liability after a bus crash, the court usually focuses on whether an employee was acting within the scope of their duty when the accident occurred. If so, a plaintiff could hold the bus company liable for the actions of their employee.

Damages

There are two types of financial compensation that a bus accident lawyer in Dolton could help an eligible plaintiff seek recovery for through a negligence claim. Economic damages, or actual damages, refer to the economic losses that an accident victim suffers. These could include current and future medical bills, lost wages, and costs associated with rehabilitation and surgical procedures.

Non-economic damages do not have a specific monetary value. Depending on the circumstances, injured individuals could recoup compensation for intangible losses such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and more.

Under rare circumstances, a bus accident plaintiff may also be able to recover compensation for punitive damages. These damages are meant to punish a negligent party for particularly egregious or intentional actions and can only be administered by a court. According to 735 Illinois Compiled Statutes 5/2-1115.05, a plaintiff may only receive punitive damages if they suffered actual damages as well.

Speak to a Dolton Bus Accident Attorney Today

A bus accident could be a significant traumatic experience for you and your family. Fortunately, you may be able to seek compensation for the physical, emotional and financial troubles you have endured if you can prove negligence by another party.

A Dolton bus accident lawyer could assist you in navigating through the complicated legal system and pursuing your case for compensation. Call today to get started on your claim.